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Lego Sports City Recreates Beijing Olympics Including the Bird's Nest Stadium

Nini, the Swallow: Official Mascot of 2008 Chinese Olympic Games

Nini Nini, The Green One

Every spring and summer, the children of Beijing fly beautiful kites on the currents of wind that blow through the capital. Among the kite designs, the golden-winged swallow is traditionally one of the most popular. Nini's figure is drawn from this grand tradition of flying designs. Her golden wings symbolize the infinite sky and spread good-luck as a blessing wherever she flies. Swallow is also pronounced "yan" in Chinese, and Yanjing is what Beijing was called as an ancient capital city.

There is an old Chinese tradition of spreading good wishes through signs and symbols. Each of the five Olympic symbols has a rhyming two-syllable name which is a traditional way of expressing affection for children. When you put all their names together -- Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni -- they say "Welcome to Beijing."� Nini is strong in gymnastics and is as innocent and joyful as a swallow. She represents the green Olympic ring.
Read about the other mascots: Jingjing the Black Panda, Beibei the blue Fish, Yingying the yellow Tibetan Antelope
Here's a selection of official Beijing Mascots.


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